I see myself jumping out of my family’s big van in front of my cousin’s house to go for a swim in their pool.
I taste the freshly picked raspberries from my grandparents backyard bushes, and remember the heaven that was those same raspberries in a bowl with milk and a little sugar.
I hear the songs of summers past: “Summer Girls” by LFO, “Kryptonite” by Three Doors Down, and I can feel my sister and I driving around with the windows down, singing along, soaking up the freedom.
I can feel the grass prickling my skin as I laid down with a book on my front lawn or settle in for a picnic with my family.
I smell barbecues, flowers, hot asphalt, campfires, chlorine.
I play nightgames with my neighborhood friends, or cousins, or my neighborhood friends’ cousins.
Lately, Manchild has been telling me that someday he wants a bedroom on the 4th floor of our 3-floor house. He wants a car and a garage. He wants bunkbeds. He wants a treehouse.
And lately I’ve been hoping that these flashbacks are actually a foreshadowing of summers yet to come and hints at memories my children will have. Different songs, of course, different books, different roads to drive down, or walk along on warm summer nights. Different friends and games. But the same feeling of discovery and carefree joy and anticipation and fulfillment and wonder. The same feeling of peace and a life being lived well.
Maybe the boys will stay up talking, in their bunkbeds about airplanes and space travel and how they built the coolest thing with legos that day. Or maybe they’ll spend hours in a treehouse, scouting the terrain, charging the castle, or simply discovering Harry Potter and Hogwarts in the quiet of the swaying branches. Maybe they’ll roll out blankets in the backyard so they can watch the stars. And maybe, in 20 years or so, they’ll wake up one summer morning with a hankering to pick a bucketful of raspberries and drown them in milk and sugar.